The Secret of What Your Home’s Worth – REVEALED

by June 17, 2009 • 2 comments

I, like many other Realtors, send out a postcard when I sell a property proclaiming my excitement in hopes that someone will give me a call. Thankfully most of the people are sweet and just want some information, mostly on the value of their own home in that neighborhood and I am tickled to give them that information. This week I made a mistake. Although I knew better, I let a man convince me to give him a value of his home with only a little information. He was determined that I tell him what his house was worth sight unseen with little knowledge of his home other than the number of rooms and the year it was built. I kindly calculated what I thought it would be worth based on the homes that I know that have been selling and provided him a range of what I thought was reasonable. Apparently, I was WRONG, he did not like the number I gave him so that brings us to this weeks tip.

There are some things that your Realtor must know in order to give you an accurate value of your home. Doing it blindly over the phone is not the best bet and keep in mind it is every one’s best interest that she give you the right value. Realtors do not get excited about listing property – they love to sell it.

  1. Location: We have heard that one forever and it still remains one of the key factors in determining a homes value. For us at the beach, location to the beach and whether it is near a dedicated beach with easy access is a great factor as well. Also important is how many homes in your area are for ssle? How many are foreclosures? What is the general condition of the area? Are there high association fees in your area? If you live in an area with few houses for sale then you have a better chance typically of selling your home so make sure you ask your Realtor about the level of inventory in your neighborhood.
  2. Design, square footage and lot-size are all important to determine your homes value. Generally your Realtor will do a FREE Market analysis that will give you statistics of what the homes are selling for in your area and how long they have been on the market. If she is an active Realtor then she can give you a very good opinion of what your house will sell for but remember an estimate over the phone leaves her lacking vital information. PRICE is important today in that there are certain price categories that garner the greatest number of buyers.
  3. Loan availability and appraisals: Today more than ever it is important that buyers and sellers are aware if a property qualifies for a loan. Consumers are unaware that the type of property may determine whether a buyer can get a loan for that property. It is not safe to assume that if you qualify for a loan that qualifies the property as well. It is vital that you tell your lender what type of home you are considering and in the best case scenario have your Realtor send the mls listing to your lender that you are considering. Condos do NOT typically qualify in the same way a Detached single family home would and lots are an entirely different subject today.

There are many things to consider so please be patient with your Realtor and trust that she or he spends many hours working at her job and wants to provide you with good accurate information. Hey I did not even mention the economy because I figured you had enough to ponder for one week.

Of course I have to share the happy stuff as well because everyone that I talked to this week did not shoot the messenger. I got the sweetest note and flowers from a very kind lady that was grateful for me and that just made my day and made me think. . . I love this job I think I will stay.
Enjoy your week and be sweet to your Realtor!!!!!

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1 Appraiser Man June 17, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Good article.

I own a condo in PCB and I am a residential real estate appraiser in Alabama, and have been doing residential appraisal since 1992.

The short version is: Your house is worth what other similar (location, size, age, quality, etc.) houses/condos within close proximity (preferably within your subdivision or condo complex)to your house/condo have sold for within the past 6 months. Some lenders allow us to go back 12 months (in areas with limited sales activity), but some only want us to use comparable sales from the past 3 months (when the data is available).

Most homeowners know the “asking price” of their neighbor’s houses, but seldom do they know what they actually sell for. Therefore, I find that homeowners get too caught up in the “asking/list price” of their neighbors houses. Actual “closed sales prices” help set the market price.

Ultimately, “supply and demand” drives home sales prices in all markets, no matter where you live.


2 karen smith June 23, 2009 at 6:13 am

I love it!!! Thanks so very much for commenting. When consumers get the facts and not the fiction that they hear on the street then we can go a long way to getting the price just right. YOU are well aware that the banks and lending institutions are doing all they can to keep from over appraising and in an attempt to do so we swing the other way. ANOTHER huge thing that I am trying to teach my buyers and sellers is that you may loose on the house that you sell right now but you will more than make up for it on your next home. Buyers are so savvy now they just move on to the next one if they do not get the price they want…. now that is another article.
Again, I get really excited when people read and comment on these articles.